ham radio operators?

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durangopipe
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Re: ham radio operators?

Post by durangopipe » Wed Jan 06, 2021 10:54 am

Jocose wrote:
Wed Jan 06, 2021 2:53 am
Stanley76 wrote:
Tue Jan 05, 2021 7:57 pm
So I'm looking at transceivers and I'm thinking that to start out I'd be better off to get a handheld because (1) Price, (2) I can use it without stringing up some dipole antenna that I don't know crap about (but I will get a longer magnetic mount vehicle antenna). 3. I won't have to set up things like a power supply etc. because I can use integral batteries or plug it into my truck power outlet and (4) i plan on just listening and basically keeping my mouth shut to learn the ins and outs on the bands I'm allowed to use.

I plan on upgrading to a base unit and all that entails later when I've actually learned something. So far all I'm doing is basically studying exam questions to get past that. This is what I'm looking at. I can spend up to five or six hundred but if a less expensive transceiver would serve my purposes that would be great.

https://www.dxengineering.com/search/de ... =Ascending

Any recommendations?
If you're thinking about a HT definitely take a look at a Baofeng, they're very inexpensive ($25-$30 ) on Amazon and if you decide that you want to go the HF CW route you'll have more pennies in yer pocket for a HF rig.

I bought a Yaesu HT before I was licensed and honestly I dont use it much, looking back I would have just saved my money for a HF radio, maybe something like Steve's ICOM 7300.
I agree with Jo.

Find out (internet search) what 2m and 440MHz repeaters are available in your area. Given that you haven’t found any local ham clubs, it’s possible that 2m repeaters are both relatively distant and not often used. 440MHz repeaters may be non-existent. VHF and UHF simplex (direct communication between two radios) may be impossible if there aren’t hams nearby who use those bands. It really would help if you could find a local ham to fill you in on what’s going on nearby.

If you go to QRZ.com, you can search for hams by location. Just put some nearby towns into the search window after choosing “search by name/address” and see what you find. If you find a few, send them emails and tell them you’re a new ham hoping to learn about the local repeater and activity situation. Hams tend to be both very welcoming and very helpful to new hams.

If it is the case that there actually are no hams nearby, your best operating opportunities may be on your allowed HF frequencies with more distant hams.

Spending a lot of money on an HT might not be a good idea given your location, but having an HT is always handy - especially when you travel. 2m is more active than 440MHz in most places. I have never used 440, but most of the emergency communication and public service ham supported communication here takes place through the two 2M repeaters maintained by our club and an HT is more than adequate most of the time. Lots of volunteer ham communication here is handled by Tech license holders with HTs.

If you can swing it, I also agree with Jo about the Icom IC-7300. Terrific price/features. If not, a lot of good used HF radios can be had for base station use on HF for less.

We can talk about antennas when you get an HF rig.

The Tech license will allow you to get started, but the world of ham radio will really open up as you upgrade your license. (Ask Jo 😁).
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Re: ham radio operators?

Post by Stanley76 » Wed Jan 06, 2021 11:38 am

Thanks to both of you for your advice. I value it. I do plan to get the ICOM 7300 fairly soon. After I pass the Technician Exam, I'm going to immediately start studying for the General License. Like I said I have so much to learn, so everything I've done so far has been geared towards passing the exam. There is so much that I just don't know but I'm loving every second of it.

I also will be working on learning Morse Code. When I get to that point I will have questions regarding apps or programs or websites that will help me learn. What I'm hearing so far is to try and approach it almost like a second language rather than looking at the visual di's and dah's.

I really do want a HT so that I can use it while out of the house. The four closest repeaters are in Oriental (28 miles), Plymouth NC (30 miles), Columbia (38 miles) and Englehard (34 miles) as the crow flies. The terrain here is dead flat but there is lot of trees (pine plantations) around. Hope I can reach at least one of them. If not I probably can when I am out in my truck not in this area. I have also been looking into signing up with Echolinks(?)

There is a HAM club in Washington NC in my county and they are hosting the examination process so I will talk to them about joining when I take the exam on Saturday.

Thanks again to you guys for all your help and encouragement. Wish me luck.
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Re: ham radio operators?

Post by durangopipe » Wed Jan 06, 2021 12:30 pm

The four closest repeaters are in Oriental (28 miles), Plymouth NC (30 miles), Columbia (38 miles) and Englehard (34 miles) as the crow flies. The terrain here is dead flat but there is lot of trees (pine plantations) around. Hope I can reach at least one of them.
Glad you checked that out.

I bet you will be able to reach at least some of them. If not, or if they're "noisy", you might look into a better antenna for the HT and a mag mount for your car/truck.
There is a HAM club in Washington NC in my county and they are hosting the examination process so I will talk to them about joining when I take the exam on Saturday.
Excellent! I'm sure they will prove to be a valuable resource.
. . . be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you. Ephesians 4:32 (NKJV)

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Re: ham radio operators?

Post by Stanley76 » Wed Jan 06, 2021 3:22 pm

I ordered a Kenwood TH-K20A HT, the recommended magnetic mount antenna and cable for my truck, a 15" dual band antenna and a desk charger for it. I bought this one because it seemed reasonably priced and most of the reviewers commented on how easy it was for beginners to set up but performed well. We'll see. I am getting an IC-7300 later though.
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Re: ham radio operators?

Post by Cobster » Wed Jan 06, 2021 5:54 pm

Stanley76 wrote:
Tue Jan 05, 2021 7:57 pm
So I'm looking at transceivers and I'm thinking that to start out I'd be better off to get a handheld because (1) Price, (2) I can use it without stringing up some dipole antenna that I don't know crap about (but I will get a longer magnetic mount vehicle antenna). 3. I won't have to set up things like a power supply etc. because I can use integral batteries or plug it into my truck power outlet and (4) i plan on just listening and basically keeping my mouth shut to learn the ins and outs on the bands I'm allowed to use.

I plan on upgrading to a base unit and all that entails later when I've actually learned something. So far all I'm doing is basically studying exam questions to get past that. This is what I'm looking at. I can spend up to five or six hundred but if a less expensive transceiver would serve my purposes that would be great.

https://www.dxengineering.com/search/de ... =Ascending

Any recommendations?
I would like to recomend is the mighty ft-817 by Yeasu!
Its a 2m -160m qrp radio. Its only 5w but the little bugger is too handy not to have kicking around! Attach the sholder strap and a ht antenna to the front bnc and its a ht. Stick it in the car with a magmount and plug it into the car's 12v system now your mobile!! It has a inturnal battery. Great audio. Small size. I wont part with mine!

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Re: ham radio operators?

Post by Stanley76 » Sat Jan 09, 2021 12:29 pm

I I passed the Technician License exam. I missed one question and scored 97. I have to wait until my license shows up in the FCC database which will take around ten days before I can attempt to contact someone but I can listen and learn in the meantime.

I met some guys there from a local club, the Pamlico Amateur Radio Club. They meet one Thursday a month in a church near me so I'm going to join it. They gave me some good information. For example they told me the frequency of a repeater in Bath and the PL tone number. For some reason it didn't show up on the repeater locator website I used but it's only 14 miles from my house. I drove past it on the way home. They also told me that the repeater in Columbia NC is over 1000 feet tall, so I should be able to connect with that and the one in Oriental. They said the one in Oriental is connected to repeaters all up and down the coast so i will be able to contact people all over ENC. They also told me that they will help me when it comes time to upgrade and get a serious base unit. The guys in the club always help new guys and help each other putting up antennas. I expect I'll learn a lot from them. Really nice guys.

When I got home the FedEx guy was pulling out of my driveway. He had delivered my first radio, perfect timing. It's a Kenwood TH-K20. It was pretty inexpensive but according to the reviews very easy for a beginner to learn to use. According to the guys I met I should be able to connect to local repeaters with no problem. I'm charging the radio now and will read the manual while it's charging. I also ordered a magnetic mount mobile antenna so that will help even more.

So now the first step is done and the real learning starts. I'm going to start studying for my General License and also CW. The next exam session is 3/19 which gives me time to really study.

Thanks to you guys for the advice and encouragement. This is going to be fun.
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Re: ham radio operators?

Post by durangopipe » Sat Jan 09, 2021 1:16 pm

Stanley76 wrote:
Sat Jan 09, 2021 12:29 pm
I I passed the Technician License exam. I missed one question and scored 97. I have to wait until my license shows up in the FCC database which will take around ten days before I can attempt to contact someone but I can listen and learn in the meantime.

I met some guys there from a local club, the Pamlico Amateur Radio Club. They meet one Thursday a month in a church near me so I'm going to join it. They gave me some good information. For example they told me the frequency of a repeater in Bath and the PL tone number. For some reason it didn't show up on the repeater locator website I used but it's only 14 miles from my house. I drove past it on the way home. They also told me that the repeater in Columbia NC is over 1000 feet tall, so I should be able to connect with that and the one in Oriental. They said the one in Oriental is connected to repeaters all up and down the coast so i will be able to contact people all over ENC. They also told me that they will help me when it comes time to upgrade and get a serious base unit. The guys in the club always help new guys and help each other putting up antennas. I expect I'll learn a lot from them. Really nice guys.

When I got home the FedEx guy was pulling out of my driveway. He had delivered my first radio, perfect timing. It's a Kenwood TH-K20. It was pretty inexpensive but according to the reviews very easy for a beginner to learn to use. According to the guys I met I should be able to connect to local repeaters with no problem. I'm charging the radio now and will read the manual while it's charging. I also ordered a magnetic mount mobile antenna so that will help even more.

So now the first step is done and the real learning starts. I'm going to start studying for my General License and also CW. The next exam session is 3/19 which gives me time to really study.

Thanks to you guys for the advice and encouragement. This is going to be fun.
Yay!
Well done, Stanley.

Belonging to a local ham club, and having ham friends there, will be a huge help - not to mention, fun.
. . . be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you. Ephesians 4:32 (NKJV)

The most improper job of any man, even saints, is bossing other men. Not one in a million is fit for it, and least of all those who seek the opportunity.. J.R.R. Tolkien

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Re: ham radio operators?

Post by Jocose » Sat Jan 09, 2021 10:20 pm

Congrats! Well done Stan! Looking forward to hearing you here on the Moonbase, I'll have to dig my HT out and get on the repeaters, If I can remember how to set the tone and stuff..

Add a little Morse practice everyday with the General study guide and you'll be pounding brass in no time.

Oh, forgot, you already have HF privileges on 40 and 80 CW!
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Re: ham radio operators?

Post by Stanley76 » Sun Jan 10, 2021 7:51 am

Thanks y'all (that's North Carolinian for "you all", similar to NYC "youse guys"). I signed up for this website to get me started in learning CW. https://lcwo.net/

Thing is I still have to learn the practical knowledge at a Technician level since all I've done is memorize exam questions and learn a few formulas. I pick it up pretty quickly I think and I will be studying hard for my General License.
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Re: ham radio operators?

Post by Stanley76 » Mon Jan 11, 2021 5:10 pm

So now I'm researching transceivers and other equipment such as power sources to build my extraterrestrial base. So far all I have is that Kenwood HT. I've also ordered a scanner so I can know what is going on real time in my area. I am getting a Uniden SDS100 scanner preprogrammed for my county and the four surrounding counties. Pricey but L.E. and other Emergency Services are on 800 Trunking and VIPR systems now so it's the only way to monitor.

So here's a question: I am looking at the ICOM 7300 which I think is HF so I would need to get a 2 meter and 70 meter (look at me throwing out these terms!) base unit, maybe a mobile unit to keep in my house first until I get my General License. I could mount a vertical antenna for the VHF/UHF transceiver on my house maybe like this: https://www.dxengineering.com/parts/dmn-hv7a?rrec=true

The other option would be to go ahead and get an all band transceiver like the Yaesu 991A (1130.00) or the ICOM IC 7100 (880.00).

I will also need to get a power supply if you guys have opinions on those.

Any advice will be appreciated.
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Re: ham radio operators?

Post by Jocose » Tue Jan 12, 2021 8:26 pm

Is there an HRO near you?

My first HF rig was a Yaesu FT-891 and the power supply was inexpensive.

The FT891 can be mounted in yer truck and used at home, very versatile, has 6 meters on it too.
"And for Freds sake, DO NOT point anyone towards CPS or you'll put them off of both Christianity and pipe smoking forever." ~ FredS

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Re: ham radio operators?

Post by durangopipe » Sun Jan 17, 2021 12:57 pm

Stanley:

If your 2m and 70cm work is mostly through repeaters with maybe a little direct com on FM, all you’ll need in the shack will be a simple dual band FM mobile rig powered with whatever 13.8 VDC supply you get. Get one big enough to handle the HF rig, VHF/UHF rig and accessories.

The multi-mode VHF/UHF rigs that include SSB and CW are wonderful for ham satellite work and DXing on those bands, but the antenna requirements for having significant success there are greater than the simple multi-band vertical you mentioned.

Low loss coax is necessary at VHF/UHF where feedline losses are greater than at HF. Rely On your ham buddies for suggestions with that. On HF, it’s not as critical.

Just as with computers, first comes the task you want to accomplish, then the choice of tools.

I think it’s a good idea to start simple and just get on the air.

Probably a nice HF radio (mic and key or paddles), a simple dual-band 2m/70cm FM mobile radio for the shack (or a “shack in a box” radio with HF/VHF/UHF), a multi-band wire of some sort for HF, and a simple vertical for VHF/UHF that will let you get into repeaters that are scattered around at different bearings from your shack.

If your HF rig has a good internal antenna tuner, depending on what kind of antenna you put up, you may or may not need an antenna tuner. Most likely, however, unless you put up several resonant antennas you’ll need one.

(The antenna discussion will make you crazy if people drop too much information on you initially. If your ham buddies there have volunteered to help you get going, go with their recommendation.)

Get on the air. Find out what modes and bands and kinds of operating you enjoy, and add/sell/trade gear based on how you’re operating.

I bet hanging out with your new, local ham buddies will be a huge help with all of this. They might even have some good gear to sell. I got my first really good station all used from a ham in the club here around 35 years ago. It was a Yaesu FT-101E line. I ran it for years. He charged me next to nothing for it and was just happy it had found a home where it would get used. I still use the amp.

Down the road ...

Better antennas. More antennas. Never enough antennas. :D
Maybe an amp.

And after you’ve been on the air a year or more, you’ll know exactly what you want to dump sell, add and dream about having “one day”.
If you’re wondering why I haven’t made a specific HF radio recommendation ...
It’s partly a “Ford vs. Chevy” kind of thing I’d just as soon avoid. :D

(I love my 7300)
. . . be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you. Ephesians 4:32 (NKJV)

The most improper job of any man, even saints, is bossing other men. Not one in a million is fit for it, and least of all those who seek the opportunity.. J.R.R. Tolkien

2017 Morley - Outstanding BRATASS of the Year

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Re: ham radio operators?

Post by durangopipe » Sun Jan 17, 2021 3:37 pm

Jocose wrote:DX spot ...
Worked V73NS (Marshall Islands), KH0OW (Saipan) and VK3CWB (Austrlia) on 14m CW just now.
Band should be open from Oregon soon if not already, Jo.

I worked V73NS with 50w and the doublet - needed (well, used) the amp for the other two.
. . . be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you. Ephesians 4:32 (NKJV)

The most improper job of any man, even saints, is bossing other men. Not one in a million is fit for it, and least of all those who seek the opportunity.. J.R.R. Tolkien

2017 Morley - Outstanding BRATASS of the Year

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Re: ham radio operators?

Post by Stanley76 » Sun Jan 17, 2021 4:11 pm

durangopipe wrote:
Sun Jan 17, 2021 12:57 pm
Stanley:

If your 2m and 70cm work is mostly through repeaters with maybe a little direct com on FM, all you’ll need in the shack will be a simple dual band FM mobile rig powered with whatever 13.8 VDC supply you get. Get one big enough to handle the HF rig, VHF/UHF rig and accessories.

The multi-mode VHF/UHF rigs that include SSB and CW are wonderful for ham satellite work and DXing on those bands, but the antenna requirements for having significant success there are greater than the simple multi-band vertical you mentioned.

Low loss coax is necessary at VHF/UHF where feedline losses are greater than at HF. Rely On your ham buddies for suggestions with that. On HF, it’s not as critical.

Just as with computers, first comes the task you want to accomplish, then the choice of tools.

I think it’s a good idea to start simple and just get on the air.

Probably a nice HF radio (mic and key or paddles), a simple dual-band 2m/70cm FM mobile radio for the shack (or a “shack in a box” radio with HF/VHF/UHF), a multi-band wire of some sort for HF, and a simple vertical for VHF/UHF that will let you get into repeaters that are scattered around at different bearings from your shack.

If your HF rig has a good internal antenna tuner, depending on what kind of antenna you put up, you may or may not need an antenna tuner. Most likely, however, unless you put up several resonant antennas you’ll need one.

(The antenna discussion will make you crazy if people drop too much information on you initially. If your ham buddies there have volunteered to help you get going, go with their recommendation.)

Get on the air. Find out what modes and bands and kinds of operating you enjoy, and add/sell/trade gear based on how you’re operating.

I bet hanging out with your new, local ham buddies will be a huge help with all of this. They might even have some good gear to sell. I got my first really good station all used from a ham in the club here around 35 years ago. It was a Yaesu FT-101E line. I ran it for years. He charged me next to nothing for it and was just happy it had found a home where it would get used. I still use the amp.

Down the road ...

Better antennas. More antennas. Never enough antennas. :D
Maybe an amp.

And after you’ve been on the air a year or more, you’ll know exactly what you want to dump sell, add and dream about having “one day”.
If you’re wondering why I haven’t made a specific HF radio recommendation ...
It’s partly a “Ford vs. Chevy” kind of thing I’d just as soon avoid. :D

(I love my 7300)
Thank you, this is valuable advice. The club meets this Thursday and I'm looking forward to getting to know them. I'm still waiting to get in the FCC database. They said it would take from 10 days to 2 weeks so I'm not expecting to get my call sign until the end of this week at the soonest.

In the meantime I've been listening to people talk with that HT I bought. Sounds like most of those guys are truckers. I'm also starting to study for the general and have just begun working on CW. Thanks again for the advice and you are right, the antennas are intimidating.
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Re: ham radio operators?

Post by Jocose » Mon Jan 18, 2021 4:39 pm

durangopipe wrote:
Sun Jan 17, 2021 3:37 pm
Jocose wrote:DX spot ...
Worked V73NS (Marshall Islands), KH0OW (Saipan) and VK3CWB (Austrlia) on 14m CW just now.
Band should be open from TheMoonbase soon if not already, Jo.

I worked V73NS with 50w and the doublet - needed (well, used) the amp for the other two.
:chili:

ONE WORD:

Image


Image


Image

:cheese:
"And for Freds sake, DO NOT point anyone towards CPS or you'll put them off of both Christianity and pipe smoking forever." ~ FredS

"This thread makes me sad." ~ SlowToke

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Re: ham radio operators?

Post by Jocose » Mon Jan 18, 2021 4:50 pm

Stanley76 wrote:
Sun Jan 17, 2021 4:11 pm
...the antennas are intimidating

Here is an article by V73NS (who Steve just worked) on a 102' G5RV

Steve recommended a G5RV to me when I started out, so I grabbed a 102' and put it up about 40'

It's been a really good antenna for me and was well under $100 to boot.
"And for Freds sake, DO NOT point anyone towards CPS or you'll put them off of both Christianity and pipe smoking forever." ~ FredS

"This thread makes me sad." ~ SlowToke

"The yutz is silly Jocose. I have him foed yet still have to view his stupid and annoying thread titles." ~ Goose55

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Re: ham radio operators?

Post by Jocose » Mon Jan 18, 2021 4:58 pm

Image

VR2BLEE Team will be active from Lamma Island, Hong Kong, in Memory of Bruce Lee.
Chief operator - Igor, VR2ZQZ.
They will operate on HF Bands.
QSL via VR2BLEE direct, LOTW.
Ads for direct QSL:
Bruce Lee Memorial Station, 40 Lo Tik Wan, Lamma Island, NT LMA, Hong Kong.
"And for Freds sake, DO NOT point anyone towards CPS or you'll put them off of both Christianity and pipe smoking forever." ~ FredS

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Re: ham radio operators?

Post by durangopipe » Mon Jan 18, 2021 6:26 pm

Jocose wrote:
Mon Jan 18, 2021 4:39 pm
durangopipe wrote:
Sun Jan 17, 2021 3:37 pm
Jocose wrote:DX spot ...
Worked V73NS (Marshall Islands), KH0OW (Saipan) and VK3CWB (Austrlia) on 14m CW just now.
Band should be open from TheMoonbase soon if not already, Jo.

I worked V73NS with 50w and the doublet - needed (well, used) the amp for the other two.
:chili:

ONE WORD:

Image


Image


Image

:cheese:
:thumbsup:
. . . be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you. Ephesians 4:32 (NKJV)

The most improper job of any man, even saints, is bossing other men. Not one in a million is fit for it, and least of all those who seek the opportunity.. J.R.R. Tolkien

2017 Morley - Outstanding BRATASS of the Year

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